Monday, February 02, 2009

The Editing and Recording of Magical Mystery Tour

by Mal and Neil

The Editing:

Originally The Beatles reckoned it wouldn't take more than a week or so to edit all the film and make up a 60-minute programme. In fact the job took more than SIX WEEKS. Each day you'd find two or more Beatles busy in a tiny editing room in Old Compton Street, Soho. The work began around ten in the morning and they very seldom knocked off before six or seven in the evening.

Editing is something which could have been left to other people but The Beatles wanted to get everything exactly the way it should be and they know it was well worth spending all the time looking at strips of films and joining up all the scenes. All told there must have been TWENTY OR THIRTY HOURS of colour film to plough through!

The Recording:

Most evenings, after working all day on editing, The Beatles gathered at the EMI studios, to put together all the songs for the soundtrack.

All told there were six "Magical Mystery Tour" numbers including the title song and an instrumental called "Flying", "I Am The Walrus" and George's "Blue Jay Way" turned out to be particularly long recordings.

The big problem was to present these recordings to the public in the most suitable way. There was too much music to fit on a 7-inch EP disc and not enough to fill a full-length 12 inch LP!

At one stage the proposal was to use a 7-inch record at LP speed--rather like the special discs The Beatles have made for Fan Club distribution each Christmas. There was a technical problem here--George Martin advised us that there would be a loss of volume on a 7-inch LP record. In addition some of us were against the idea because it would mean that people with autochange record players would have to fiddle about with the speed control or play the "Magical Mystery Tour" disc in a stack of LP albums instead of with singles and EPs.

It was not until the beginning of November that everybody agreed on how the thing should be solved. There would be a set of two EP records inside a special book--plus a single.

The production of the special book was, in itself, a big job. It was to be 28 pages, mostly in full colour, plus a heavy cover with pockets built in to contain the two records.

No comments: